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Biting Down on the Origin of a Tooth

A Tyrannosaurus Rex tooth found by Barb Beasley during a 2012 Passport in Time excavation in the Late Cretaceous Hell Creek Formation on the Custer National Forest in South Dakota on June 22, 2012. Unlike mammals that only possess two sets of teeth during their lifetime, dinosaurs replaced worn teeth by shedding them continuously throughout their lives. A single Tyrannosaurus may have shed hundreds or even thousands of teeth during its lifetime. U.S. Forest Service photo by Rhonda Fore.

A Tyrannosaurus Rex tooth found by Barb Beasley during a 2012 Passport in Time excavation in the Late Cretaceous Hell Creek Formation on the Custer National Forest in South Dakota on June 22, 2012. Unlike mammals that only possess two sets of teeth during their lifetime, dinosaurs replaced worn teeth by shedding them continuously throughout their lives. A single Tyrannosaurus may have shed hundreds or even thousands of teeth during its lifetime. U.S. Forest Service photo by Rhonda Fore.

The big female sniffed at the dry Late Cretaceous air as she trotted – delicately, considering her 7-ton frame – along a game trail through a stand of towering conifers, whose needled lower branches trembled slightly at her passing. Read more »

Doing the Farm to School Math

This spring the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is tallying up the number of schools buying from local and regional producers.

This spring the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is tallying up the number of schools buying from local and regional producers. Photo credit: Lindsay Morris

Crisscrossing the country, from Maine to California, and from Florida to Washington, farm to school programs exist from coast to coast in small, rural towns and large, urban metropolitan areas alike. We know school cafeterias are brimming with local and regionally sourced foods, giving kids more opportunity than ever to understand where their food comes from.  Read more »

Moving Harper’s Beauty Off Road

Harper’s beauty is a perennial lily with a solitary yellow flower and iris-like leaves and is listed as federally endangered (U.S. Forest Service photo)

Harper’s beauty is a perennial lily with a solitary yellow flower and iris-like leaves and is listed as federally endangered (U.S. Forest Service photo)

The first week of March found a team of plant biologists down on their knees in a highway right-of-way in the Florida Panhandle searching for Harper’s beauty, one of Florida’s rarest native plants. Read more »

NRCS Recovery Act Project Helps Provide New Starts for Residents

For more than 45 years, people who lived in West Virginia’s Dunloup Creek Watershed have dealt with floods. That’s because there’s a scarcity of flat land in the area and residents have had to settle mostly along the creek—the very area that floods during storms.

Two major floods in 2001 and 2004 devastated five low-income communities spread out across two counties in the watershed. The floods destroyed houses, ate away at the stream bank, polluted drinking water and washed away utilities. Damages totaled millions of dollars.

Because of the mountainous terrain and far-flung population, traditional flood control measures like dams, channels, floodwalls, dredging and flood proofing were not feasible. Yet many residents were trapped into living in their damaged homes, unable to move out because of perilous financial circumstances. Read more »

A Future Where School Cafeterias are Overflowing with Local Fare

Taking action in Ohio for healthy kids.

Taking action in Ohio for healthy kids. Photo credit: Joe Barbaree

I was recently invited to give a presentation at the 2nd annual Ohio Farm to School Conference. Conference organizers asked me to address the future of farm to school: where did we want to be in ten years?

By chance I’d asked a similar question of colleagues at Portland Public Schools a decade earlier. At the time, we were just starting to incorporate more local and regional products into the cafeteria and we thought a creative writing exercise would help us crystallize our goals and focus our work. Read more »

Mobile Apps Help Dairy Farmers Compute Costs and be Environmentally Friendly

Penn State University (PSU) Extension released a mobile app, “DairyCents,” for dairy farmers to easily calculate their income over feed cost. The app also allows farmers to compare their feed costs with the costs paid by others.

Penn State University (PSU) Extension released a mobile app, “DairyCents,” for dairy farmers to easily calculate their income over feed cost. The app also allows farmers to compare their feed costs with the costs paid by others.

This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from USDA’s rich science and research profile.

It’s a digital world – and agriculture is no exception. More and more, farmers and ranchers are moving away from traditional methods of getting their news and information. Mobile devices are convenient, budget-friendly ways for farmers and ranchers to stay up-to-date on a variety of agricultural issues. Read more »